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Carmel Refuge

Requested: Create a magical, peaceful serene outdoor area with lots of vegetation and separation.


Imagine this, 5 fire pits, 10 spas, (5 chilled, 5 heated) 21 waterfalls, 14k sq ft of pavers landscaping all separated by different elevations allowing most of the spas to be private and not seen from another.

We had to put a lot of thought and ingenuity into this project because the actual land space we had to work with was not very big.

Fun fact: We imported 500 tons of boulders (that’s a lot!) from Jackson, CA, for this project. The owner of the resort called me to his office one day and said there’s no way all those would fit in the area. So me (Mike)—being a little bit of a smart ass—opened my wallet and put a dollar bill on the owner’s desk and said “I’ll bet one dollar I will use all 850 tons as specified and probably more”. The bet was on. He gave me back the $2 in no time and we ended up using about 850 tons.

As a result of how insanely beautiful this project turned out—not only did it pay for itself in one year—but is now Carmel’s #1 destination spot. It’s a must-do trip. Massages, saunas, no phones, no kids, no talking (it’s a European spa). One of the most relaxing things you will ever do. It’s a must-do trip!